Skip to main content
8:00 pm
that had traveled from florida i believe they drove overnight to get up to sandy hook. and they appeared at the memorial site and just started playing and singing. ♪ >> i feel your pain, i understand you're grieving, and we are here for you. >> that's it for us. thanks very much for watching. "erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. investigating today did a new sweep of the house where adam lanza and his mother lived. we asked the police chief what he found. what was lanza's state at the time of the shooting. we look at autism and killer's
8:01 pm
brains as we continue to focus on mental health. and tonight, no deal in washington. let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. "outfront" tonight, desperate for answers. investigators spent the day at the home of 20-year-old adam lanza, sweeping the house for evidence of a motive. behind the rampage in which 20 children were killed and seven adults, including his own mother. there are also new details tonight about nancy lanza's whereabouts in the days before the shooting. deborah fayerick is live outside the home tonight. what has happened there tonight and today? >> it's rather remarkable because the major crime squad has been here all day and as we push into the house, lights are on in the top and bottom floor. now, they brought back the mobile crime lab and they're
8:02 pm
processing this crime scene. investigators have not retrieved any information from the damaged computer, the one that gunman is alleged to have smashed into pieces. the hard drive so damaged the fbi is having a difficult time getting any data. so what investigators are doing now, about half a dozen of them in the house. they're going through all documents, files, medicine cabinets. earlier today, we did see them bring out a large box and brought it into the that mobile crime lab. that's an area they use for processing. they can do instant analysis, so they're aggressively working inside the home trying to get additional information, erin. >> and what have you been able to ascertain about what they've been able to bring out? do you have any sense of sort of what was in the box, other materials they've gotten? >> no, we haven't, but what's also so fascinating about this, they pulled the mobile crime lab out. sorts of took it off the
8:03 pm
premises over the weekend and brought it back. so we're learning that in the days before the massacre, the mother was not at home with her son. my colleague rita cosby has confirmed the mom was at a resort in new hampshire. she left early tuesday morning and didn't get back until after dark on thursday, so that means that the gunman would have been this this home by himself or with somebody checking in. it's not clear, but her friend does tell cnn that in fact, the mother was one to do that. she would leave them on occasion, preparing a couple of meals so that he would be taken care of. she was not there, when she returned on thursday, the next morning, friday morning, that is when police believe the gunman went into her bedroom, into her bedroom while she slept in her pajamas and shot four times at her head before going on this terrible terrible rampage, erin 37 >> all right. deb feyerick, thank you very
8:04 pm
much. as deb is reporting, pretty significant development that nancy lanza had been away. it was confirmed she stayed at the hotel in new hampshire and checked out around 12:00 noon on thursday. it was a four and a half hour drive, so she would have gotten home when it was dark the evening before she died. i want to bring in lieutenant paul vance with the connecticut state police. he's the lead spokes man, you've seen him speaking many times. it's been a very difficult job to have to update the world on what he knows. he joins me on the phone now with the latest. i appreciate it, we all do because everyone wants to understand what happened here. we have confirmed as you just heard, that nancy lanza was away in the days before the shooting. what can you tell us about her relationship with her son? >> i think what's important is to make sure that everyone understands that our investigators, our state police detectives have to take every piece of information and confirm it. ensure that it's totally accurate, and totally pristine
8:05 pm
and without error before we can come out publicly and state it. therefore, we haven't really come out and stated anything too too much relative to the relationship with the shooter, prior to the catastrophe that happened at the school. >> all right and i understand that. we don't want you to rush it, then have to change what you say, so i do understand that, but you know, there have been reports that a possible motive, i'm sure you've seen these. it's been written, reported elsewhere, that adam lanza was concerned his mother would have him committed to an institution or sent away to school, and that is what may have prompted this horrific rampage. have you found any evidence to support that? >> we've been gathering a tremendous amount of evidence and our major crime detectives have been at the residents for many days, many hours. they're there today. they have the processing van at the residence as we speak and they're meticulously going through every square inch, touching every paper and document and everything contained in that house seeking what's necessary to attempt to establish any information, any motive, any timeline that can
8:06 pm
support the investigatory efforts of the detectives on this case. >> so, too early to say whether his fear of being committed or anything like that could have been involved. >> you're correct. >> so, on saturday, you said the investigation, i'll quote, you said it did produce some very good evidence on motive. i know now, you obviously have a lot more evidence. >> yes, ma'am. >> so, what is causing the hesitation? is the motive very complicated? so many people obviously around the world, everyone wants to understand that, to try to get some sort of closure here. >> we understand that and we certainly want to do that. we want to answer every single question surrounding how and why this catastrophic tragedy took place, but we don't traditionally attempt to piecemeal an investigation. we could uncover a piece of evidence that could send us in an entirely different direction,
8:07 pm
therefore, it's prudent for us to examine everything and then come out with a final determination exactly what we know from factual information that we gather. >> as one thing i want to try to understand and hopefully this is just sort of a factual thing that we could get to the bottom of. a lot has been made of the guns. that nancy lanza had these guns and how adam lanza could have gotten those. as we just reported she would have gotten home somewhere between 5:00 and 6:00 the night before, do you know where the guns are locked up? >> yeah, we do have a great deal of information relative to the guns. we've actually got a team, we're being assisted with that, with the atf, and we're literally investigating those guns from the day, the minute they left the manufacturer to the day we see them. there were capacities to lock those up, we know that. and certainly, we're going to check the place of guns every single time they were touched or handled.
8:08 pm
>> do you know if the lock was broken or were they removed with someone who may have had the competition? can you tell us that? >> i'm sorry, i do not know that information. >> all right. you don't know that information yet. okay. yesterday, we also had reports that the computer had been smashed to pieces. sort of implying adam lanza tried to destroy the evidence, giving the perception he would have known right from wrong. is there any hope you're going to get anything off those hard drives? >> it's important to note that electronic evidence was seized. there's no question about that, that's not secretive. we have a very, very good competent electronic evidence computer crimes unit, and we'll work with any other agencies supporting our efforts to ensure if there's something there, our people will definitely find it. >> one final question, other members of the family, adam's father, his brother? >> i know that we've had some conversations. i don't know that we've completed those interviews. we have had some conversations
8:09 pm
with the family, with our assistance from other agencies outside the state of connecticut. >> lieutenant vance, thank you. up next, the controversy of reporting the mental health of the shooter. what asberger's syndrome has to do with the story and what it doesn't. and three state officials resign after the attack on the con sue late in benghazi. oth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. you can stay in and like something... or you can get out there and actually like something. the lexus december to remember sales event is on. this is the pursuit of perfection. military families face, we understand.
8:10 pm
at usaa, we know military life is different. we've been there. that's why every bit of financial advice we offer is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. [ laughs ] dad! dad! [ applause ] ♪ [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles. usaa brings advice. call or visit us online. we're ready to help. [ male announcer ] with free package pickup from the u.s. postal service the holidays are easy. visit usps.com. pay, print, and have it picked up for free before december 20h for delivery in time for the holidays. you can even give us special instructions on where to find it. free package pickup. from the u.s. postal service. because it's nice to have an extra pair of hands around for the holidays. anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah.
8:11 pm
one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'.
8:12 pm
8:13 pm
diagnosing adam lanza. h. wayne carver said he was told the shooter has aspergers syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. now, people who knew the family say he had aspergers, but advocacy groups say there is no relation between aspergers and
8:14 pm
violence. bob and susan wright, grandparent of a child with autism and the founders of autism speaks say this -- autism did not cause this horror, the profound tragedy of these senseless murdered will be compounded if it -- against people with autism, but according to a leading medical book, here are some of the behaviors. one, shows a lack of empathy. two, acts up with intense tantrums and three, shows aggression to others and to self. i spoke with bob earlier and asked him how he's so sure why autism wasn't a part of why this tragedy happened? >> well, there's been, there have been a number of studies, very large studies done with autistic children. dr. catherine lord spoke with one this morning "the new york times" and went through the whole thing thoroughly. the result of it is that there is less likelihood of a child with autism to have an aggression against other people than there is for typical children, so not only is there no evidence that supports the fact that they are violent to
8:15 pm
other people, but they are actually less violent towards other people than typical people and when you really get into these stories about violence and you see children or young adults, what you're going to see generally is people with alcohol or drug problems or some other situation. they're seven to ten times more likely to be violent than typical children and autistic children are less so. sometimes, they are self injurious, but rarely to other people. these kinds of generalizations are killing us. these parents of children with autism, they're frightened, angry. people are talking about you know, autism as though they're acquainted with it. they're using it as a generalization and it's really very sad. this, there's no evidence so far, we haven't seen any evidence of this poor boy was even diagnosed. we haven't heard the school records. haven't seen an individual education plan.
8:16 pm
we haven't heard any therapist. any health care providers coming forward saying i diagnosed this child 20 years ago or 15 years ago. i treated him when he was 10. i helped this boy with therapies. this is really disturbing to me. if this child has had treatment, why haven't people surfaced? >> what about the issue of empathy. when i hear about this, it's what i always come back to. that if someone has trouble with empathy, the man in norway who killed all of these people on that island, a psychiatrist said he had autism. and he was sort of striking for his lack of empathy or understanding or connection to what he did and when people hear if you're autistic, you might lack that human connection. it may make them say well, i could see how this could be linked to a horrific act. do you see that as all or do you think that's the wrong link to
8:17 pm
make? >> it's a very long putt given the fact we have so little day data on adam. children with aspergers, which is a very high functioning child generally, tend to have social communication issues. but none of those issues fall into the categories that we're talking about here with the kind of violence and murder and so, but they may have a narrow social focus or they may be very lonely or appear to be lonely. some are very talkative and informed and very knowledgeable, so you just can't generalize about that and this empathy issue, the fact they said well, he doesn't feel pain and so forth, i kind of write that off as another gross generalization. i haven't met children that don't feel pain and have no ability to deal with pain. >> obviously, your grandchild has autism and since he's been
8:18 pm
born, you founded autism speaks and you have dedicated yourself, you and your wife to fight this condition. is this in a sense whatever happens with adam lanza, perhaps something that can bring some good to this country for children that have autism? >> we are desperate to have an opportunity to have some real focus on mental health. it's not even the most extensive area -- the brain is the largest organ in your body, but it gets less attention in health care than the spleen does. and before everything is lost in the avalanche of media for guns and the fiscal cliff, i hope we are able to bring forward a real abegin de here for mental health. >> thanks so much, bob, we appreciate your time. >> thank you very much. it's lovely to be on. it's been another heartbreaking good-byes for friends and family in newtown.
8:19 pm
services were held for victoria soto and three more children, daniel barden and two more 6-year-olds, caroline previdi and charlotte bacon. the overwhelming task of burying the victims has fallen largely on the shoulders of dan hoden. in the coming days he will be burying 11 of the 26 victims who were shot and killed at sandy hook elementary. poppy harlow sat down with him today and is in new town tonight. >> the first call came in at 7:00 saturday morning. >> once the magnitude came, i said well, we've got the get things planned out so we can do what we have to do. >> the pain in his eyes concealed by his glasses. his exhaustion apparent. he runs the only funeral home in newtown. >> one girl, the funeral we had yesterday, she loved orca whales. >> 11 of the children murdered at sandy hook elementary are being remembered here.
8:20 pm
long lines outside, now a painful sight all too common in this picturesque town. >> tragedy has landed here and it's our job to take care of what has to be done. that's what we do. >> the calls with the families -- >> it's very sad. >> -- difficult beyond words. >> many of the children had favorite hobbies. one girl loved horses and animals and wanted to be a vet. one boy was the giants fan. >> started by his grandfather more than 100 years ago, this funeral home is where he grew up, but he has never seen anything as tragic as this. i've read that you called this the week from hell. >> well, yes, it is the week from hell, but we'll get through it. >> their innocence was taken away from them and that makes it very, very difficult for us to deal with. >> pasquale runs the connecticut funeral directors association and has gathered more than 100
8:21 pm
volunteers to help with the newtown funerals. mentally, how do you prepare to talk to these families? >> you prepare yourself knowing that you have a role to play and that is to assist them in helping say good-bye to their little girl. it's very, very difficult. in the evening when you go home, you deal with it. you talk to your family. you try to collect your thoughts and cry. >> for honen, the coping will come in the weeks ahead. for now, he tries to tune it out. >> when i go home at night, i don't, when i turn the tv on, i've been watching christmas movies. it's an escape. and you know, i find great comfort in my wife. my wife is my rock. >> a rock, something everyone in this town needs right now. >> and poppy is in newtown tonight. you talk about volunteers. that's been one of the small
8:22 pm
sort of rays of hope in this, just the generosity of people helping with these funerals, right? >> that's exactly right. that's something i learned today that i was surprised about, it's one little bit of help for the families of these 11 children, erin. all the cost for their funerals will be covered because of the donations of time by all those funeral directors, volunteers, people who have donated caskets, everything. the cost of the funeral. at least that's being covered and the funeral director told me that he has gotten over 2,000 e-mails from other funeral directors around the country, the world, asking how they can possibly help. >> it's hard to imagine if any, that anyone else would have ever had to deal with such a horrible thing. so many young children coming to a funeral home. did you talk to him about how he's dealing with that? emotionally? someone who deals with death has never dealt with death like this. >> i did. you're right. this is his job. this is what he has to do every
8:23 pm
day. but putting this many kids to rest is something he never imagined he'd have to do and i really got a sense from him, he had to sort of put a wall up to deal with it, to cope and he told me that's right, i do. i have to put a wall up of sorts just to get through the day and in the weeks to come, when this is over, he's going to lay the last child to rest on friday. he'll deal. he'll grieve. this is the town where he grew up. he lived in that funeral home, he was born there, it's been in his family for so long. he hopes a tragedy like this never happens to his town. i could feel it from both of them, they have to put up their guard just to get through the day. >> thank you very much, poppy harlow. and next, will adam lanza's brain give any clues as to how a person could have committed this horrible crime? dr. drew is next to look at the brain and next, the president steps into the gun control debate, but what he said has our john avlon asking questions.
8:24 pm
i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth!
8:25 pm
8:26 pm
8:27 pm
8:28 pm
welcome back to the second half of "outfront." we start the second half of our show with some of the other top stories we're focusing on. three state department officials have resigned following an independent review on the attack on the american con sue late in benghazi. the report found failures and management deficiencies at the state department. officials tell cnn two of the resigning officials were at that assistant secretary level and dana bash has learned hillary clinton will be testifying next month about the attacks. she could not testify this week due to illness. well, the war of words over the fiscal cliff continues today.
8:29 pm
the president and john boehner spoke to make an effort for a deal. the president says he's meeting republicans halfway. >> this is not a situation where i'm you know, unwilling to compromise. this is not a situation where i'm trying to you know, rub their face in anything. i think anybody who looks at this objectively would say that coming off my election, i have met them at least halfway. >> speaker boehner disagrees. >> the president's offer of $1.3 trillion in revenues and $850 billion in spending reductions fails to meet the test the president promised the american people a balanced approach and i hope the president would get serious soon about providing and working withes on a balanced approach. >> boehner went on to say the house will pass his fallback tax plan in a vote tomorrow. the soldier accused of killing 16 afghan villagers in a
8:30 pm
shooting spree could face the death penalty if found guilty. today, the hearing was referred to a court-martial authorized to consider capital punishment. in a statement, his wife says she hopes her husband gets a fair trial, but now, no longer knows if it's possible. and now, we have learned that ten ngos are cautioning the united nations security council as it reconsiders a resolution for international military intervention in mali. without a peaceful political solution, the groups say a military offensive could have serious humanitarian consequences. they're asking the council to implement five recommendations, including training of force and calling for more humanitarian assistance, which they say is needed to help the more than 1200 malians to flee their homes as al qaeda linked and inspired groups have taken over the north of the country. it has been 503 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating.
8:31 pm
what are we doing to get it back? ratings agency fitch warns it may downgrade if the leaders can't make a deal on the fiscal cliff. the agency says it could tip the u.s. into an unavoidable recession. apparently what is needed is an increase in revenue and a cut in spending, which is what a fiscal cliff does. tonight, connecticut is remembering the victims of sandy hook elementary school and resident thes of neighboring towns are gathering to pay tribute to the murdered children and adults. gary tuchman is in danbury, which is about a 20 minute drive from newtown, i know, gary, you are at a vigil tonight. >> well, that's right, erin. all over the world we feel anguish about what happened. but nowhere is it more acute than in this small state. and here in danbury, this is called a tribute to newtown. there are hundreds of people through the the state of connecticut who are here to to pay support to the victims, the family members.
8:32 pm
we know from covering tragedies, the key to coping with it is for people to get together, so we have middle school bands who are here. an ensemble from the university here, which is western connecticut state university. right now, there's a pastor who's speaking. there will be a video tribute shortly to the children and to the adults killed. everyone who's come in here is getting gifts. the red cross is supplying mickey mouse dolls to the children. disney supplied them to the red cross, the red cross is supplying them to the kids. everyone is getting a candle and the adults are all gets roses, so it's a very poignant, very sad. we should point out one thing. this university happens to be where the killer went to college for a short time. but no one's discussing him, this night is all for the victims. erin? >> let me ask you, the vigil being held at western connecticut state university, of course, the shooter had attended there, taken some classes at least at one point. have you met anyone there who has any memory of this person?
8:33 pm
>> yeah, no, we've talked to people. and like i'm telling you, people don't want to talk about lanza today. but we talked to them before this began and no one remembers this guy. that's what's so notable about the situation. no one remembers him from grade school, high school, from college. people just don't have memory of this guy. we'll obviously learn more in the days, weeks, months to come, but he was basically an invisible person it seems. >> all right. thank you very much. gary tuchman. a big question a lot of people are continuing to ask is how this happened. why it happened and is there something when you're born, that can make you the kind of person who kills? can you be born a killer? connecticut chief had medical examiner h. wayne carver has asked a geneticist to join his investigation into what drove lanza to murder his mother and 26 others. carver says he might have able to help identify whether a disease caused this behavior
8:34 pm
tonight. dr. drew, thanks for taking the time. people have been asking this question because of the horror of what happened. and the impossibility of anyone to imagine such a horrific act as to whether genetics could be a part of this. whether you can be born a killer. >> okay, erin, before i answer a question, i've got to remind people, while i work in the world of neurobiology, and yes, i'm an addiction neurologist, yes, you can be born a psychopathic killer. that is absolutely been established. that people with it have a certain pattern in their brian, particularly the right side of their brain, which we have empathy as well as an teerial singular regions underfunction. they're just functionally different. however, i don't think, that's not a specific genetic problem we are say. people are born with this
8:35 pm
disorder. there are familial links, but we have no genetic marker for it. what i believe the medical examiner is looking for is some sort of inborn error of metabolism or some sort of chronic neurological condition that has a genetic basis to it that could lead to such disturbed behavior. >> and are we able when you say i mean it's more complicated than yes, there are some born that way, and it gets more complicated, is there any way to tell that in advanced? whether you're predisposed. or is this something where a whole lot of people might screen for a similarity here, but only you know, some very, very small fraction of them actually would ever do anything wrong. >> well, if you really have psychopathy, it's not a small fraction. there are people who operate in the world in a disturbed way. i'll answer the question this way. there is a doctor here in town in southern california who's doing studies on these brains. you can show functional mri evidence of the psycho pathic brain.
8:36 pm
he was trying to get some controls. he used his own brain as one of the controls and he was going through the scans one day, here's another psychopathic brain, turned out it was his scan and he was able to identify that he has some of the deficiencies of empathy and emotional connection that psychopaths have, yet he had compensated in some way, so he was not inclined to harm other people. he could appreciate that other people had feelings, so there may be a day when we can do scans on these people and intervene in such ways that they will not become somebody that destroys people. in terms of the risk factors, harming animals, torturing, violence, a real manipulative sense of goal directed uncaring toward people and aggression. >> the doctor you mentioned is going to be on this show tomorrow night. that story was just incredible that you would look and see that. i spoke to a woman on monday, the woman who wrote the blog
8:37 pm
entitled i am adam lanza's mother and she talked about the struggle of raising a child. in his case, sort of an undiagnosed thing, he had been diagnosed with adhd. some people would say it's autism spectrum disorder. and she's not sure what the problem is. and i spoke also with dr. oz about what people in their situation might do. here it is. >> the advice that i got was that i needed to press charges, so that we could create a paper trail again and he did get excellent follow through care when he had to do juvenile detention as a younger boy, but i just don't feel like jail is the right place for my son and i'm just really hoping that we can find another solution for him. >> she's absolutely correct in calling us all out on the reality. the only way she can get help is to file police charges. >> and now, we're talking about children yo whoa may have an issue, a disorder, mental illness, whatever it might be.
8:38 pm
>> we have a massive problem in this country and the fact is that the law enforcement system has become the mental health delivery service of fault. there's nothing else but that and real problem here is a fact, that's just the way it is and to get parents, you heard that parent even resisting. you have to let law enforcement in or you end up with disasters like this. the real problem -- we're going to get into in great detail on my show, since we have dismantled the state hospitals, we have no way to contain and help these people who so desperately need our help. there are tens of thousands of people out there like that woman's son, who are aggressive and vine the and need containment in certain situations. insurances don't corner it, there's inadequate resources. parents are reluctant to bring law enforcement in. we have got to do something about that problem and certainly, we should have a system in place that doesn't allow guns to get into the hands of someone like that. >> what do you tell parents to do? you said there's tens of
8:39 pm
thousands of children out there, what do you tell them? >> erin, i'll tell you. call the cops. call the police. i can't tell you, i give parents three or four interventions. the other thing is conserve toreship. it's expensive, difficult. that is to say you gain control of that person's rights and freedoms through a conservitorship. nobody does it. people resist calling the police until it's too late. we have these people falling through the cracks out there and then there's no encatchment system from the mental health side to really help these folks. i hope, i pray, that the newtown slaughter brings this to forefront before something else happens. because we have a problem. doctors need to be able to do their jobs, people need to ask questions. and the privacy rights of the individuals cannot supersede the safety and the rights of the community because they are right now. >> thanks very much, dr. drew. ahead, president obama today pledged to use all the powers of the office to prevent another tragedy like newtown, but why hasn't he done that before?
8:40 pm
piers morgan joins us now. and later, the healing power of love. a special moment we saw of incredible generosity in newtown. we'll be back. again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing! we can see you carl. we can totally see you. come on you're better than this...all that prowling around. yeah, you're the king of the jungle. have you thought about going vegan carl? hahaha!! you know folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy. how happy are they jimmy? happier than antelope with night-vision goggles. nice! get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work.
8:41 pm
[ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro.
8:42 pm
8:43 pm
8:44 pm
president obama today pledged to use all the powers of his office to prevent another tragedy like newtown. those are his words and today, he appointed vice president biden to lead a task force on gun control and report recommendations by the end of january. >> this is not some washington commission. this is not something where folks are are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside. this is a team that has a very specific task. to pull together real reforms right now. >> the president said he would push congress to act on those recommendations, but why call for a task force? are there things the president can do now? you're saying task force, okay, sure, go ahead and have one of those.
8:45 pm
he can do something now. >> he can. there are executive actions he can take outside of recommendations. here are just three of them. first, recess appointment of an atf director. it's astounding, the head of the atf has not had a steady director in six years. the current director commutes from minnesota. the u.s. attorney from minnesota as well as acting director of the aft. a recess appointment could block that log jam. significant first step. second, the justice department can prosecute criminals who lie on their background checks. in 2009, most recent year we have statistics, 71,000 criminals were found to have lied on their background checks. the fbi reported it to the feds, the feds only prosecuted 77. that's one tenth of one percent. >> criminals are getting guns,
8:46 pm
bypassing the background check. >> final thing, reinstate the ban on imparts of automatic weapons. this goes back to the first president bush. in 1989, after a school shooting in 1989, signed a ban on importing automatic weapons in the country. it was double down by president clinton. but that hasn't been enforced since the second president bush. president obama, not enforcing it either, so you can strengthen an existing ban on importation of assault weapons. >> there are things he can do now, so why is he announcing them now. you can find them. i'm sure he could. a task force is helpful in addition, too. >> politics is local and timing is everything. we're in the 11th hour of the fiscal cliff and announcing these actions would alienate conservative republicans even more, so there's a rationale. >> about why he would wait. and what about america's response? it has always surprised me on the heels of these shooting, this summer with colorado, that there wasn't more of a backlash with the american people. are we seeing anything different?
8:47 pm
>> we are. a new cnn poll showing 43% of americans are more likely to support gun actions. this time, it's different and can the pressure on congress continue? in the past, this wasn't such a polarized issue. reagan supported a ban. that's a reality check we can reflect on in the coming weeks. >> a person they all admire greatly. >> yes. >> thank you very much, john avlon. and now, let's bring in piers morgan. attention has been fixed on newtown for five days, but people are demanding and having a national conversation about guns. he will hold a town hall with shooting victims, family members and elected officials to get answers. john has a reason why he's not doing it now. why he's waiting. is the commission enough for you? >> well, the time scale of being just a month to come back with initial finding, the reality is this commission should have been ordered years ago.
8:48 pm
i mean, i've begun with cnn nearly two years now in january, and in that time there have been an appalling series of shootings. in the last four months alone we've seen the aurora massacre, which was the biggest single shooting in america's history. we've now had the biggest single school shooting in america's history. you can't keep breaking terrible records like this without somebody saying enough. >> you've been very vocal in recent days, piers. you're saying the united states should follow the lead of other countries. you come from britain. different laws there, right? >> we don't have a second amendment, we don't have a right to bear arms enshrined into our psyche. this debate is not about an american's right to have a firearm at home to protect their family. i respect that the average american would like to preserve that right. what this is about is the very
8:49 pm
type of assault weapons we saw in sandy hook, aurora and the shopping mall shooting in oregon. you can go further back. those are the three last mass shootings in america. they all have the ar-15 assault rifle. let's give it a new name. these are military machine guns. these are weapons you can buy at walmart, and they can fire four to six bullets a second. 100 bullets in a minute. the killer that went to sandy hook school had enough guns and enough magazines and enough bullets to murder the entire school. and his intention was possibly to do that very thing. if that had happened you would have had 600 deaths of children in one incident. and i'm sure nobody would be arguing about this, but i cannot understand coming from britain, where in 1996 we had the massacre in dunblane scotland, 16 5-year-old children were killed. as a result, there was a
8:50 pm
complete handgun ban across the country. we've had no shootings like that since. at the same time in australia, they had a similar incident. 35 people killed in tasmania, they brought in big bans on these type of assault weapons, they've had no mass shootings either since then. this is a proven track record if politicians and in britain, it was a labor politician, tony blair. in australia, a conservative politician. it was never a partisan political debate in either country. it was a moral and humane debate to get these terrible weapons off the streets. >> and be sure to join piers for a special coming up at the top of the hour.
8:51 pm
8:52 pm
8:53 pm
8:54 pm
8:55 pm
since we've been covering the tragic shooting in newtown, we have seen a community that was already incredibly tight and intimate. you could tell by the small streets there. they've grown even closer. yesterday we talked to jr shine. he and his friends rushed home after hearing the news and have been holding fund-raising drives in the center of town ever since. it's not just in newtown, people across the country and around the world have come to newtown. yesterday we saw it firsthand, these dogs, chew we, ruthy and luther and their handlers are comfort dogs. their handlers drove 14 hours from chicago after the shooting to get there on saturday and to try to help people, specifically the kids in newtown. >> walking into the school and into the gym with our dogs and having the kids start cheering
8:56 pm
was amazing to be there and have joy erupt from the kids who have not known joy for the last few days. it was -- that really touched my heart. >> and the dogs touched the hearts of the children too. >> you had a story about a boy in high school who was talking to the dog and was able to express himself. and wish that dog could help his dad who was a first responder? >> yeah, that was tim. he was going to the dogs and said his dad came home every night and just didn't talk. he said, i wish my dad was here to be with the dogs. >> it's remarkable how much the gift of love can help the healing process. and the great generosity people in this country have to share with each other. "piers morgan tonight" is next. s
8:57 pm
you just pop in a microwave. like caramel chocolate drizzles. happier holidays. chex party mix.
8:58 pm
8:59 pm

tv
Erin Burnett Out Front
CNN December 19, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

News/Business. Erin Burnett. (2012)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Adam Lanza 9, Us 7, Erin 6, Nancy Lanza 4, America 4, Newtown 3, U.s. 3, Britain 3, Washington 2, Benghazi 2, Minnesota 2, Usaa 2, Fbi 2, Geico 2, Australia 2, New Hampshire 2, Danbury 2, Sandy Hook 2, Gary Tuchman 2, Bush 2
Network CNN
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1920
Pixel height 1080
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color


disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 12/20/2012
Views
91